I know this is a subject frequently derided and joked about here for 'making cars all look the same' by raising the height of the hood, as also stated in the linked article.
This is a gross simplification of the rules. The only rule is that there needs to be space between the hood and engine. There are a myriad of options mfg's can take instead of just raising the hood. You can also lower the highest point of the engine. A slacker V angle, more tilt, shove the engine back a bit, dry sump, put the engine not in the front.... Either are perfectly valid options. It's just another packaging constraint on top of all the other packaging constraints and claiming 'omg the EU forces our cars to be ugly' is lazy and unfounded. 'The EU places extra constraints on engine bay packaging' would be a better way to put it. 'The EU forces mfgs to lower the center of gravity and polar inertia of our cars' would be an awesome way to put it.
It's not like car manufacturers give two shits about engine bay accessibility as it stands. And there are still front-engined cars that have nice low fronts while still conforming to regulations. The much-beloved C7 'vette fits in that category. http://www.caranddriver.com/features/takin...
In any case, keep this in mind: Despite any morbid jokes you might make, if the day comes that you hit a pedestrian, you'd rather have him in the hospital with a fighting chance, than dead on your hood. Nobody expects it to happen to themselves. Me neither. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy a car that has better pedestrian impact ratings. Which makes it a perfect place for the government to step in to force mfg's to at least make something that scores 'acceptably well'.